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Monday, June 8, 2015

Musical Brunch Pop-Up Launches This Saturday

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 10:53 AM

Austin-Style Breakfast Tacos - SOUL DELICIOUS
  • Soul Delicious
  • Austin-Style Breakfast Tacos

Wes Rowe of Wes Burger fame is teaming up with LookOut in the Castro to launch Soul Delicious, a southern-infused brunch pop-up. The weekly affair will feature a rotating menu set to the soundtrack of Motown classics. Come hungry, and be prepared to dance — just as you'd expect at this second-story bar just off Market. 

The revelry begins this Saturday, June 13, with a barrage of comfort cuisine designed to disarm even the most stubborn of weekend hangovers. The inaugural centerpiece figures to be the modestly-billed 'Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich', an $11 gut-busting combo of ground maple pork belly, aged melted cheddar, and a runny, fried egg. Just to give it some semblance of healthfulnes, it's topped with a bouquet of arugula, and comes with country style home fries on the side.

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TONIGHT!: Blackbird Goes Tiki

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 10:01 AM

The Forbidden Shake made with Cana Brava and Diplomatico rums gets the black rice horchata treatment at Blackbird tonight. - BLACKBIRD BAR
  • Blackbird Bar
  • The Forbidden Shake made with Cana Brava and Diplomatico rums gets the black rice horchata treatment at Blackbird tonight.

Call it June Gloom, San Francisco Summer, or Thank-God-it’s-not-90-degrees-and-humid, but residents of the city are getting ready to usher in the official start of the summer season on the 21st by making sure all their sweaters, scarves, and jackets are cleaned and ready. Add having tiki cocktails to that list, because Blackbird Bar is hosting a tiki night this evening starting at 8 p.m. and going until close.

And sure, temperatures are getting pretty high today, but at least it's not humid!

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Art of the Burn, at Hearth Coffee

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Eric S. Burkett

Given the rapid comings and goings of businesses in the Castro lately, particularly cafes, I had completely missed the opening last fall of Hearth Coffee at 17th and Castro. That's my loss, because Hearth is worth seeking out.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jänchi Korean Gastropub Improves Dramatically on Its Ill-Fated Predecessor

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 1:15 PM

KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • KFC (Korean Fried Chicken)

When I wrote about the ill-fated ManDu a few months ago, I said that the Castro Korean restaurant would become a place to party. Well, I was half right: They got a little rodent infestation. Whether the Health Department observed rats guzzling soju cocktails or a $145 bottle of Kudoki Jozu “Pick Up Artist” sake, we aren’t sure, but they shut the place down on May 1.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tacorgasmico Is Legit Mexico City Street Food

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Cochinita pibil and rayas tacos - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Cochinita pibil and rayas tacos

There are lots of skulls to be found in Tacorgasmico, now open serving Mexico City street food with a bunch of Yucatán influences. The former Blue space on Market Street is now the fourth casual Mexican restaurant in the Castro (the others being Tacos Club, Chilango, Zapata’s, and La Tortilla, plus HECHO as their upscale sibling). We can never have too many, really. Nor can we have too many skulls. One of Tacorgasico’s is riding a bike whose wheels are lime slices, another is carrying a jug of pulque and wearing a hat labeled “El Jefe” (“the boss”).

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cole Valley's Ice Cream Bar to Open on Castro

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 11:10 AM

The interior of the Cole Valley location. - FLICKR/CAT. C
  • Flickr/Cat. C
  • The interior of the Cole Valley location.

News that Cole Valley’s Ice Cream Bar is opening up to the former L’Occitane space on Castro Street could not be more welcome. The Castro just got an Easy Breezy, and Eureka! Café makes affogattos out of ice crea and Blue Bottle Coffee, but considering that approximately 11 coffee shops have opened in the neighborhood in as many months, three places for frozen desserts sounds about right.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Everything Agave All of the Time: HECHO Ups the Castro’s Game

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM

A prawn & chorizo and duck mole taco. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • A prawn & chorizo and duck mole taco.

Sexing up the triple junction of Sanchez, Market, and 15th Streets is the bombastic, HECHO (briefly known as Bandidos). With its kapow-red outdoor seating, figure-eight-knot light fixtures, and rear wall plastered with close-ups of Mexican currency, it’s definitely one of the more attractive ground-floor spaces in Upper Market’s new construction.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Although Best Known for Vodka, The Lookout Now Has a New Menu

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Pulled pork tacos (with super-spicy pico de gallo). - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Pulled pork tacos (with super-spicy pico de gallo).

Dining in the Castro continues to improve. The latest example is The Lookout, that second-floor club with a view of the six-way intersection of Noe, Market and 16th Streets. They’ve always had a kitchen, but now it’s really churning out some quality stuff thanks to a menu revamp from Wes Rowe of Wesburger. (Granted, a gay bar that hosts a weekly romp called JOCK isn’t going to be to all tastes, but still, it’s impressive.)

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pescaterians, Rejoice: Pesce’s Tuna Bolognese Rules

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM


Pasta with Bolognese sauce is the kind of comfort food most everyone loves. Many of us ate spaghetti with meat sauce growing up; it’s kid-friendly, inexpensive, and easy to make (providing you browned some ground beef and stirred in a jar of Ragu).

Pesce, a restaurant that emphasizes seafood with its Venetian menu, has many wonderful plates to tempt you — draped slices of hamachi crudo, a picture-perfect Dungeness crab tower, homey and rich cioppino – but don’t miss the restaurant's Bigoli. This dish arrives as long, thicker-than-spaghetti tubes of pasta dressed with an intensely flavored tuna Bolognese. If you didn’t know this were fish-based, you might think you were eating meat.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Pica Pica Brings Venezuelan Arepas And Other Staples to the Castro

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

The shredded beef pabellon arepa at Pica Pica. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • The shredded beef pabellon arepa at Pica Pica.

Hugo Chavez is dead, but Venezuelan food lives on at Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, the second S.F. spot for Carácas cuisine. And it's far less polarizing than inflammatory anti-American rhetoric. In fact, it's delicious.

If you can find it, that is. The nondescript Castro location is hidden in plain sight, such that you might find yourself leaning on the front door, scanning Google Maps. (Hint: Pica Pica is next to the Chevron station, behind the accumulation of idling F-Market streetcars). Inside, however, the warmly painted walls and friendly staff indicate that this is a cut above the sea of mediocrity that is eating in the Castro.

See also: Mission Picnic Is Open For All Your Dolores Park Sandwich Needs

Charles Phan on His New Restaurant South, Now Open at SF JAZZ

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